Former US intelligence chief Michael Hayden, who has previously held top positions at the NSA and CIA, has admitted that US spy agencies – like their Russian counterparts – have previously hacked foreign political parties in past operations.
Speaking at an interview hosted by The Heritage Foundation this week (18 October), Hayden argued the main difference between the US and Russian intelligence groups is that the Kremlin has intentionally worked to “weaponise” stolen data to influence the political process.
“I have to admit my definition of what the Russians did [at the DNC] is, unfortunately, honourable state espionage,” Hayden explained, adding: “A foreign intelligence service getting the internal emails of a major political party in a major foreign adversary? Game on. That’s what we do.”